States push Jim Crow when they override minimum wage laws - An Op-Ed by Nikki Fortunato Bas

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Governors and state legislators across the country are on a municipal power stripping spree. Just this week, Missouri enacted a state law preempting local efforts to raise the minimum wage, overturning thousands of pay increases already in effect and literally ripping raises from the pockets of workers.

Media attention has predominantly characterized this phenomena as an issue of Republicans versus Democrats or state versus local control. But the true dynamics at play are far more sinister. Sweeping state interference into local efforts to raise wages and improve the lives of working Americans is a thinly-veiled attempt to perpetuate white supremacy.

Today, African Americans are paid 75 cents per every dollar a white worker is paid. So why does this inequity persist generation after generation? Interference by state governments is the latest iteration of the Jim Crow legacy, an era in which black workers earned as little as 50 percent of what white workers earned.         Read More.